Branches of the ANZ, Commonwealth, National, Westpac and affiliated banks are found all over Australia, and many provide 24-hour automated teller machines (ATMs). But don't expect to find ATMs everywhere, certainly not off the beaten track or in very small towns. Most ATMs accept cards issued by other banks and are linked to international networks. Eftpos (Electronic Funds Transfer at Point of Sale) is a convenient service that many Australian businesses have embraced. It means you can use your bank card (credit or debit) to pay for services or purchases directly, and often withdraw cash as well. Eftpos is available practically everywhere these days, even in outback roadhouses where it's a long way between banks. Just like an ATM, you need to know your Personal Identification Number (PIN) to use it.
Most banks are downtown along Avenida Tulum and are usually open Monday to Friday 9 30 a.m. to 5 p.m., and many now have automatic teller machines for after-hours cash withdrawals. In the Hotel Zone, you can find banks in the Plaza Kukulkan and next to the convention center. Many casas de cambio (exchange houses) are in the Hotel Zone, in the plazas, and near the convention center. Avoid changing money at the airport as you arrive, especially at the first exchange booth you see its rates are less favorable than any in town or others farther inside the airport concourse. In general, the best exchange rates are found at ATMs, casas de cambio, and hotels.
Zidong tikuanji (dzuh doong tee kwan jee ATM machines) are truly ubiquitous these days. In order to use one, you need a zidong tikuan ka (dzuh doong tee kwan kah ATM card) to find out your jieyii (jyeh yew account balance), to ciin qian (tswun chyan deposit money), or to qii qian (chyew chyan withdraw money). And you definitely need to know your mima (mee mah PIN number) otherwise, the zidong tikuanji is useless.
ATMs (cajeros automat cos) are by far the easiest way of carrying money in Nicaragua. They are available in most major towns and tourist regions, with the glaring exceptions of Isla Ometepe and the Corn Islands. Most smaller towns have a regular bank (no ATM), which probably won't do credit-card advances or cash traveler's checks. Most ATMs operate on the Visa Plus system, but BAC (Banco America Central), located in most Pacific population centers and Esso stations, also accepts MasterCard Cirrus Many towns don't have banks or ATMs, but almost all have Western Union (www .westernunion.com) outlets. Traveler's checks are inconvenient, and may be changed at only some banks, for a steep fee. Leave them at home.
In Chicago, Chase has a large network of ATMs. On Michigan Avenue, you'll find Bank One ATMs in the John Hancock Center Observatory building and in the Chase building at Ontario Street (near the northwest corner of the intersection with Michigan Avenue). If you aren't a Chase customer, the charge to use the ATM is 1.50. If you're a Chase customer, you won't get charged. Chase is a member of the MAC, Cash Station, and Cirrus networks.
The easiest and best way to get cash away from home is from an ATM (automated teller machine). The Cirrus ( 800-424-7787 www.master card.com) and PLUS ( 800-843-7587 www.visa.com) networks span the globe look at the back of your bank card to see which network you're on, and then call or check online for ATM locations at your destination. Be sure you know your personal identification number (PIN) before you leave home and find out your daily withdrawal limit before you depart. ATMs are as ubiquitous in Spain as they are in the United States, Canada, and other places. Look for signs advertising cajero autom tico or cajero 24 horas (24-hour ATM). As long as your bank card uses a four-digit PIN, you can use your card at ATMs abroad to withdraw money directly from your home bank account. Instead of withdrawing U.S. or Canadian dollars or British pounds like you do on your home turf, you get euros. The exchange rate is usually the best you can get it's calculated at the current rate, and...
The easiest and best way to get cash away from home is from an ATM (automated teller machine), sometimes called a cashpoint in England. You can find 24-hour ATMs all over London outside banks, in large supermarkets, and in some Underground (Tube) stations. In other English cities and towns, look for ATMS in local banks on the town's main street (often called High Street). The Cirrus ( 800-424-7787 www.mastercard.com) and PLUS ( 800843-7587 www.visa.com) networks span the globe look at the back of your bank card to find out which network you're on and then call or check online for ATM locations at your destination. Be sure you know your personal identification number (PIN) and find out your daily withdrawal limit before you depart. Also, keep in mind that many banks impose a fee every time your card is used at a different bank's ATM, and that fee can be higher for international transactions (up to 5 or more) than for domestic ones (where they're rarely more than 1.50). On top of this...
Every country in this book has international ATMs that allow you to withdraw cash directly from your home account, and this is the most common way European travellers now access their money. However, you should always have a back-up option, as some readers have reported glitches with ATMs in individual countries, even when their card worked elsewhere across Europe. In some remote villages, ATMs might be scarce, too. When you withdraw cash from an ATM overseas, there are several ways you can get hit. Firstly, most banks add a hidden 2.75 loading to what's called the 'Visa Mastercard wholesale' or 'interbank' exchange rate. In short, they're giving you a worse exchange rate than strictly necessary and you won't be aware of it unless you ask. Additionally, some banks charge their customers a cash withdrawal fee (usually 2 with a minimum 2 or more). If you're really unlucky, the bank at the foreign end might charge you as well. Triple whammy. If you use a credit card in ATMs, you'll also...
The Bank of Bermuda has 24-hour ATMs in nearly two dozen locations - including the airport, Hamilton, St George and Somerset -which will accept Cirrus and Plus system ATM cards and MasterCard and Visa credit cards. The Bank of Butterfield also has a widely dispersed network of ATMs that accept the same ATM and credit cards as the Bank of Bermuda. Among the places you can find these ATMs are Bank of Butterfield branch offices, Marketplace grocery stores and larger shopping centers.
You can obtain cash (kwacha only) over the counter at Barclays and Standard Chartered banks in the cities and larger towns with a Visa card. But it can take most of the day and you may be slugged a fee of about US 10. Larger branches of both banks have ATMs that accept Visa, but only kwacha can be withdrawn, and ATMs have a habit of malfunctioning. Traveller reports say that Indo-Zambian Bank ATMs are the most reliable insofar as not eating your card. ATM cards bearing the MasterCard mark are fairly useless.
Branches of the ANZ, Westpac and several local banks in the main towns of Samoa are equipped with ATMs. In American Samoa, ATMs are provided by the ANZ Amerika Samoa Bank and the Bank of Hawai'i. Be aware that ATMs don't always operate 24 hours, and that they can be prone to running out of bills at the start of the weekend. Take plenty of cash with you (in small denominations) when you're heading outside the bigger settlements. Eftpos (Electronic Funds Transfer at Point of Sale) is a convenient service that allows you to use your bank card (credit or debit) to pay directly for services or purchases, and often withdraw cash as well. However, it's currently only available in some of the larger hotels and upmarket restaurants.
The hassle of trying to change travellers cheques at the weekend and rip-off bureaux de change is a thing of the past in most parts of Eastern Europe, with the arrival of ATMs that accept most credit and cash cards. Nearly all Eastern European countries have plenty of ATMs, and not only in the capital city. Check the specific situation in each country's chapter before banking on this. Cash or debit cards, which you use at home -i to withdraw money directly from your bank ac- 30 count or savings account, can be used through-out Eastern Europe at those ATMs linked to international networks like Cirrus and Maestro. The major advantage of using ATMs is that you don't pay commission charges to exchange money and the exchange rate is usually at a better interbank rate than that offered for travellers cheques or cash exchanges. Bear in mind that if you use a credit card for purchases, exchange rates may have changed by the time your bill is processed, which can work out to your advantage or...
These days, all the Mexico beach resorts detailed in this book have 24hour ATMs linked to a national network that almost always includes your bank at home. Cirrus and Plus are the two most popular networks check the back of your ATM card to see which network your bank belongs to. The 800-numbers and Web sites will give you specific locations of ATMs where you can withdraw money while on vacation. Using ATMs permits you to withdraw only as much cash as you need for a few days, which eliminates the insecurity (and the pickpocketing threat) of carrying around a wad of cash. Note, however, that a daily withdrawal maximum of about US 1,000 is common, though this amount does depend on your particular bank and type of account. One important reminder Many banks now charge a fee ranging from 50 cents to US 3 when a nonaccount-holder uses their ATMs. Your own bank may also assess a fee for using an ATM that's not one of its branch locations. These fees mean that, in some cases, you get charged...
(contact the issuing bank to enable this feature and get a PIN). The Cirrus (& 800 424-7787 www.mastercard.com) and PLUS (& 800 843-7587 www.visa.com) networks span the globe look at the back of your bank card to see which network you're on, then call or check online for ATM locations at your destination. Before you leave home, make sure the PINs on your bank- and credit cards will work in Europe you usually need a four-digit code (six digits may not work in Europe). Also find out your daily withdrawal limit before you depart, and keep in mind you can only access your checking account (not savings) from ATMs abroad. Although ATMs usually give a better exchange rate than banks or exchange services, remember that many banks impose a fee every time a card is used at a different bank's ATM, and that fee can be higher for international transactions (up to 5 or more) than for domestic ones (where they're rarely more than 2). On top of this, the bank from which you withdraw cash may charge...
Banks, ATMs, and Currency Exchange Playa has several banks with automated teller machines, along with several money-exchange houses. Many of these offices are close to the pier and along Avenida 5 at Calle 8. Outside of Playa, Tulum, and Puerto Morelos there are few ATMs. It's a good idea to keep a cash reserve, if you're staying elsewhere.
CREDIT CARDS & ATMS Credit cards are the most widely used form of payment in the United States. Among the most commonly accepted are Visa (www.visa.com), which is BarclayCard in Britain MasterCard (www.mastercard.com), which is EuroCard in Europe, Access in Britain, and Chargex in Canada American Express (www.americanexpress.com), Diners Club (www.dinersclub.com), and Discover (www.discovercard. com). You must have a credit or charge card to rent a car. There are, however, a handful of stores, restaurants, guest ranches, and B&Bs that do not take credit cards, so be sure to ask in advance. Most businesses display a sticker near their entrance to let you know which cards they accept. (Note Businesses may require a minimum purchase, usually around 10, to use a credit card.) Check the websites listed above to find an ATM or location where you can get a cash advance on your credit card. You'll find automated teller machines (ATMs) are easily found in U.S. cities. Some ATMs allow you to...
When you withdraw cash from an ATM overseas there are several ways you can get hit. Firstly, most banks add a hidden 2.75 loading to what's called the 'Visa Mastercard wholesale' or 'interbank' exchange rate. In short, they're giving you a worse exchange rate than strictly necessary. Additionally, some banks charge their customers a cash withdrawal fee (usually 2 with a minimum 2 or more). If you're really unlucky, the bank at the foreign end might charge you as well. Triple whammy. If you use a credit card in ATMs you'll also pay interest - usually quite high interest - on the cash withdrawn.
Martha Quezada and Plaza Inter Mall, just assume that you are being watched. Stay alert, walk confidently, and leave backpacks, purses, passports and important documents in your hotel. ATM machines are under constant surveillance - see those adorable tots on bicycles Yeah, them. Take a taxi after banking or shopping, not to mention after dark, even if it is just a few blocks. The unlit streets between the mall and Barrio Martha Quezada are particularly dangerous.
Slide the phone card into the phone like an ATM card at a cash machine. You can buy prepaid cards in increments equivalent to as little as 2 or as much as 30, depending on the country. Phone cards come in handy only if you plan on staying for a while or if you want to make direct longdistance calls. If you're visiting for only a few days and expect to make mainly local calls, just use pocket change.
There are no banks or ATMs in either glacier village, so remember to get money before going south you won't be able to do so again until you get to Wanaka, some 450km (279 miles) away. Credit cards are accepted in most places though. If you're driving nonstop to Wanaka, allow 6 to 7 hours. The drive to Franz Josef from Hokitika takes about 2 hours.
There are four main streets, which arc around Saranda's bay. There are three banks with ATMs along the sea road (rr 1 Maji) and the next street inland (rr Sk nderbeu). Buses to Butrinti leave from rr 8 N ntori, which is the next street uphill from rr Sk nderbeu, while the bus station is on rr Lefter Talo, uphill from rr 8 N ntori. There's one main street linking the four called rr Vangjel Pando, where taxis wait for customers. Most of the restaurants, bars and caf s are around this street and along the seafront.
Wellington is an international gateway to NZ. See p709 for information on international flights. Wellington Airport (WLG 04-385 5100 www.wellington-airport.co.nz S 4am-1.30am) has touchscreen information kiosks in the check-in hall. There's also currency exchange, ATMs, car-rental desks, caf s, shops etc. If you're in transit or have an early flight, you can't malinger overnight inside the terminal. Departure tax on international flights is adult child 25 10.
These days, traveler's checks are less necessary because most cities have 24-hour ATMs that allow you to withdraw cash as needed. However, keep in mind that you'll likely be charged an ATM fee if the bank isn't your own. If you're withdrawing money every day, you may be better off with traveler's checks as long as you don't mind showing identification every time you want to cash one.
The sleepy town of Amecameca, 60km east of Mexico City, is the key staging point for an Izta climb. With volcanoes and 16th-century churches as a backdrop, it makes an appealing destination in itself. A lively market convenes daily next to the church, and there are ATMs and internet caf s around the plaza.
These days, traveler's checks seem less necessary because all U.S. cities, including Chicago, have 24-hour ATMs. Generally, carrying the smallest amount of cash possible enough to pay for cabs, tips, and other incidentals is wise. Be vigilant when using ATMs. Whenever possible, choose machines in 7 w) well-lighted locations where plenty of people are about. And stay alert Kjj J while processing your request for cash. Robberies (and worse) can and do occur around ATMs.
Those willing to pay a bit more for certain creature comforts, and there's one luxury hotel for good measure. Nearby Calle San Antonio Abad has a great bar scene, and two good museums are within walking distance. Two malls offer ATMs, cinemas and other modern amenities, while buses to the city center, bus terminals, Colonia Escal n and Zona Rosa all pass through.
FAST FACTS Several banks in both the old town and new city have ATMs and currency-exchange machines. The hospital is at 7-9 Trantallidou in the new town (& 28310 27-491). For Internet access, try the Caribbean Bar Caf (behind the Rimondi Fountain) or the Alana Taverna (on Salaminas near the Hotel Fortezza). The most convenient laundry is next to the Youth Hostel, 45 Tombazi open Monday through Saturday from 8am to 8pm. The tourist police (& 28310 28-156) share the same building with the tourist office, along the beach. The post office is east of the Public Gardens at 37 Moatsu 37 (& 28310 22-571) open Monday through Friday from 8am to 8pm, Saturday from 8am to noon. The telephone office (OTE) is at 40 Kountourioti 40 open daily from 7 30am to midnight.
Credit cards are a safe way to carry money. They also provide a convenient record of all your expenses, and you can withdraw cash advances from your credit cards at banks or ATMs as long as you know your PIN (although this is an expensive way to acquire what's essentially a loan). If you've forgotten yours, or didn't even know you had one, call the number on the back of your credit card and ask the bank to send it to you. It usually takes five to seven business days, though some banks will provide the number over the phone if you tell them your mother's maiden name or some other personal information.
There are no formal foreign currency exchange bureaus in Alaska. A Wells Fargo Bank branch in the 5th Avenue Mall in Anchorage (& 907 2652093 www.wellsfargo.com) has a currency exchange desk, the only specialized service in the state. You can change money elsewhere, but it generally is not a good idea. Obtain U.S. dollars before you leave home. You can pay for almost anything with a credit or charge card, with the exchange automatically made by your bank. You can also withdraw US dollars from ATMs by using your credit card, although the credit card company will usually charge an astronomical fee. You need to know your credit card PIN in order to use your card at an ATM.
Though the age of ATMs makes this less necessary, some people still purchase about 50 worth of local currency for each country that they'll visit even before they leave home. Doing so gets you from the airport or train station to the better exchange rates of a downtown bank. Likewise, this money can tide you over until you get your hands on some more, if you arrive in town late at night or on a bank holiday.
The stone-constructed Bergen Train Station (& 81-50-08-88) is a 7- to 10-minute walk south of the harbor, along the street from the entrance to the Bergen Storsenter Shopping Mall, which also houses the city's bus station. Trains from Oslo pull in here. On-site is a luggage storage facility open daily 7am to 10 50pm, that charges 20NOK to 40NOK ( 2.70- 5.40) per day. Because the station is so close to the city center, services such as ATMs, restaurants, currency exchange, pharmacies, and so forth are in the immediate vicinity of the station.
FAST FACTS The Commercial Bank (Emboriki Trapeza) and Ergo Bank, both at the north end of the harbor near the corner of Kanari, have ATMs both are open Monday through Thursday from 8am to 2pm, Friday from 8am to 1 30pm. The English-speaking dentist Dr. Freeke (& 22710 27-266) is highly recommended. The hospital is 7km (4 4 miles) from the center of Hios town (& 22710 44-301). Internet access is available at Enter Internet Caf (& 22710 41-058), on the south end of the paralia next to the Metropolis Caf . It's open daily from 9am to midnight 1 hour online costs 4 . There's a full-service laundry just around the corner from the post office on Psichari (& 22710 44-801) one load costs 12 , and the turnaround time is about 24 hours. The post office is at the corner of Omirou and Rodokanaki (& 22710 44-350). The telephone office (OTE) is across the street from the tourist office on Kanari (& 131). The tourist police are headquartered at the northernmost tip of the harbor, at Neorion 35 (&...
By law, all foreign currency must be changed at official moneychangers or banks. For every foreign exchange transaction, you will receive an encashment certificate, which will allow you to re-exchange rupees into foreign currency when departing India (see above). You'll need to have encashment certificates totalling the amount of rupees you intend changing back to foreign currency. Printed receipts from ATMs may also be accepted as evidence of an international transaction at some banks. Keep a few rupees handy until you fly - airport services are disproportionately expensive.
MONEY ATMs ATMs (guichets automatiques) are now a common sight and many accept Visa, MasterCard, Electron, Cirrus, Maestro and InterBank systems. Major credit cards are widely accepted in the main tourist centres, although their use often attracts a surcharge of around 5 from Moroccan businesses.
Hotel exchange desks will only change money for their guests but are open very long hours, 7 days a week. Banking hours vary from branch to branch but are limited on Saturday, and banks are closed on Sunday. For more information, see Banks, Currency Exchanges & ATMs in the Fast Facts Beijing section of chapter 3. EXCHANGE RATE The yuan is pegged to the U.S. dollar, trading between 8.276 and 8.28 to 1 U.S. dollar, and is only allowed to move within a band of .2 . For all other currencies, strength in comparison to the yuan is a matter of strength in comparison to the U.S. dollar. The pound sterling has recently been trading at around 1.56 and 12.95, the euro at 1.07 and 8.87. The latest rates can be found at www.xe.com ucc.
MasterCard, it also has ATMs, which should theoretically give you money on a Visa card. This is the main branch and is directly opposite the ferry terminal. The bank gets horribly crowded, so get there about 30 minutes before opening to avoid the queues. Comit du Tourisme du Mayotte ( 61 09 09 ctm mayotte.tounsme.com Rue de la Pompe S 7.30am-4.30pm Mon-Fri) Very helpful. Itaiso has a branch at the airport and smaller information kiosk by the ferry terminal, which is open on Saturdays. The best place to come for lists of the chambres d'h tes (B&B-style accommodation) around the island, although the info isn't always up to date. Can also provide information on diving and sailing companies. Cyber Club ( 62 62 1 24 Route de Vahib , Passa-mainty per 10min 1 S 9am-10pm Mon-Sat) Internet access just outside Mamoudzou also serves snacks. La Maison des Livres ( 61 14 97 marielaure .maison.des.livres wanadoo.fr Place Mariage) The best bookshop in the Comoros, with maps, guides to Mayotte and...
The police station is above Dolihi Tours Travel Agency, and the post office is left of the plateia. Dolihi Tours Travel Agency ( 22750 23230 fax 22750 22346) Helpful agency that can arrange accommodation located below the police station. Icariada Holidays ( 22750 23322 icariada hol.gr) Helpful staff sell ferry and plane tickets, and can arrange accommodation in Fourni. On the waterfront. Police ( 22750 22222) Port police ( 22750 22207) Tourist police ( 22750 22222)
AT THE AIRPORTS If you are arriving by plane, you may as well think of your airport as a visitor information center, since all three Washington area airports offer all sorts of visitor services. See chapter 2 for specific information about each airport's location, flights, designated place to rendezvous when someone is meeting you at the airport, and transportation options into town. BALTIMORE-WASHINGTON INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT (BWI & 800 435-9294 www.bwiairport.com). BWI services include two information desks (& 800 435-9294 for information and paging) located on the upper level near the ticket counters and a Maryland Welcome Center (& 410 6912878) at Pier C on the lower level near the international arrival gates foreign-language assistance in French, Italian, Spanish, and German (you just pick up one of the white courtesy phones located throughout the airport and request assistance) several locations for buying insurance and exchanging currency (& 410 850-0237) several ATMs (at the...
Banks & ATMs There's an ATM at the Bank One (& 928 638-2437) at Market Plaza, which is near Yavapai Lodge. The bank is open Monday through Thursday from 10am to 3pm and Friday from 10am to 5pm. Climate The climate at the Grand Canyon is dramatically different from that of Phoenix, and between the rim and the canyon floor there's also a pronounced difference. The South Rim is at 7,000 feet, and consequently gets very cold in winter. You can expect snow anytime between November and May, and winter temperatures can be below 0 F (-18 C) at night, with daytime highs in the 20s or 30s. Summer temperatures at the rim range from highs in the 80s to lows in the 50s. The North Rim of the canyon, which is slightly higher than the South Rim and stays a bit cooler throughout the year, is open to visitors only from May to October because the access road is not kept cleared of snow.
ATMs are on the main concourses in the old and new terminals and in the baggage claim area of the new terminal. Currency exchange services are offered at two customer service centers in the new terminal's main concourse. Dulles's ATMs are on both levels of the main terminal and on mid-field concourses A, B, C, and D. Currency exchange services are located on the upper level of the main terminal and on midfield concourses B, C, and D. An information counter is on the lower level of the main terminal. ATMs and information desks are scattered throughout the airport. Currency exchange services are available on the upper level by Pier C and on both levels of the International Pier.
Money can be changed at the Bank of China branch (S 8.30-11,30am &2.30-10.30pm) at the international end of the upper level. The Shanghai Pudong Development Bank, at the international end of the lower level, will cash travellers cheques and give Visa credit-card cash advances. ATMs can be found in the arrivals hall.
Obtaining cash against credit cards can be problematic in Himachal Pradesh and Ladakh. Only a select number of very upmarket hotels and several branches of the Bank of Baroda will advance cash against Visa and MasterCard, and only a handful of ATMs in the large tourist hubs are capable of handling international credit card cash advances. Easiest is to draw cash in Shimla. Certain shops in Dharamsala and Manali will give credit card advances for a 5 fee, but this is not official practice. ATMs, Banks & Currency Exchange ICICI Bank has an ATM at Scandal Point, The Mall and UTI Bank has one at 53 The Mall. You can change cash and traveler's checks, and organize cash advances on certain credit cards at ICICI Bank (address above Mon-Sat 8am-8pm). In an emergency, guests at the Cecil and Wildflower Hall can also draw money against their credit cards for a small percentage.
Throughout the northwest of Vietnam, there are very few places to cash travellers cheques, and credit cards are of little use beyond Sapa. Travellers cheques can be cashed at some hotels in Sapa, but commissions are steep. Thankfully, there are now a couple of ATMs in Sapa. Otherwise, Lao Cai is a good place to do a bit of banking. It's generally pretty straightforward to swap US dollars for Vietnamese dong, but the rates can be poor. The moral of the story is to dong up before departing Hanoi.
The extremely helpful DTPC office ( 04936202134 www.dtpcwayanad.com Kalpetta S 10am-5pm Mon-Sat) can help organise tours, permits and trekking. There's a UAE Exchange ( 04936-207636 Main Rd S 9.30am-6pm Mon-Sat, 9.30am-1.30pm Sun) in Kalpetta, and Federal Bank or Canara Bank ATMs can be found in each of the three main towns, as well as internet caf s.
San Francisco International Airport (SFO) consists of four main terminals North (Terminal 3), South (Terminal 1), Central (Terminal 2), and International. The baggage level of each terminal also houses information booths. Bank of America operates a branch on the mezzanine level of the North terminal, and you can find ATMs on the upper level of all terminals. International visitors will find Travelex currency exchange offices throughout the International terminal. At Oakland International ( 510-563-3300), all ground transportation is on one level. A shuttle service called Bayporter Express ( 415-4671800 www.bayporter.com) picks up passengers from Terminal 1 at the center island and from Terminal 2 around the corner from baggage claim. The fare to San Francisco is 26 for one person, 38 for two people in the same party, and 7 for kids under 12. You'll have an easier time if you make reservations for the 45- to 60-minute ride. To take a cab downtown, expect to pay around 45 the trip takes...
After clearing Customs (see the section Getting through Passport Control and Customs, earlier in this chapter), you enter the main concourse of your terminal. You can pick up a free map and general info from the Tourist Information Centre in the Underground concourse of Terminals 1, 2, and 3 (open Oct-May daily 8 a.m.-6 p.m. and June-Sept Mon-Sat 8 a.m.-7 p.m.). You can also find ATMs, hotel booking agencies (see Chapter 9), theater booking services, and several banks and bureaux de change where you can swap your dollars or traveler's checks for pounds and pence (see Chapter 4 for details on changing money).
BALTIMORE-WASHINGTON INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT BWI (& 800 435-9294 www.bwiairport.com) services include two information desks (& 800 435-9294 for information and paging) located on the upper level near the ticket counters and a Maryland Welcome Center (& 410 691-2878) at Pier C on the lower level near the international arrival gates foreign-language assistance in French, Italian, Spanish, and German (you just pick up one of the white courtesy phones located throughout the airport and request assistance) several locations for buying insurance and exchanging currency (& 410 8500237) several ATMs (at the entrances to Piers C and D on the upper level and RONALD REAGAN WASHINGTON NATIONAL AIRPORT National (& 703 417-8000 www.mwaa.com national) has general information desks and customer service centers (& 703 417-3200 or 703 417-3201) at either end of the second, or concourse, level. Here you can exchange currency, purchase insurance, and recharge batteries. Ticket counters are on the third...
Money-wise, your best bet is to bring cash, preferably in Canadian dollars, euros or pound sterling (avoid US dollars as the cost of changing them into Cuban Convertibles is a lot higher). A credit card will provide a good emergency back-up and traveler's checks from non-American banks are usually acceptable. Unfortunately few, if any, foreign debit cards will work in Cuban ATMs.
Be aware of your surroundings and who may be watching you. Avoid walking on dimly lit streets at night, particularly when alone. Walk purposefully. Avoid unnecessary displays of money or jewelry. Divide money and credit cards to avoid losing everything and also aim to use ATMs in well-trafficked areas.
In Chapter 5, I get into the nitty-gritty of money. You have to deal with British money every day of your trip, so this chapter tells you all about pounds and pence. Any traveler who's trying to come up with a workable budget needs to have a general idea of what things currently cost. I also include useful information on changing your home currency into pounds and pence and provide plenty of practical info on using ATMs and credit cards while in England.
Cash is the prevalent means of paying in Dubai, although credit and debit cards are widely accepted. This is the case just about everywhere except in the souks. ATMs are prevalent throughout the city, available not just in banks but in many supermarkets and shopping centers, as well. Most accept a wide range of cards, including those linked to the Plus system, American Express, Global Access, MasterCard, and Visa. Currency and traveler's check exchange is possible in most banks, exchange houses, and many hotels.
Discount airlines have discovered Diosdado Macapagal International Airport (CRK) in the Clark Special Economic Zone. The terminal is modern but stark there are no ATMs, although there is plenty of parking. Each of the airlines tends to run special buses (fares about P350) to and from Manila.
ATMs Check the back of your bank card or credit card to find out which ATM network you belong to. To locate ATMs that participate in the Cirrus network call & 800 424-7787 or go to www.mastercard.com. For PLUS call & 800 843-7587 or go to www.visa.com. For cards with the NYCE logo, visit www.nyce.net. To locate Star ATMs go to www.star.com. Business Hours Business hours in New York State don't differ much from the rest of the country, with one notable exception. It may be a tired clich , but they don't call New York City the city that never sleeps for nothing. Although some stores close at 7pm, many are open until 9pm, and a few as late as 11pm. Most restaurants serve until 11pm, and later on weekends. Some diners serve breakfast all night to bar crawlers and club kids, and 24-hour convenient stores on every other block sell an assortment of items you might need during the night, such as groceries, beer, ice cream, cigarettes, and cold remedies. Car Rentals See Getting Around, earlier...
ATMs You'll find bank machines at most of the commercial areas in the park, including Grant Grove (in the lobby between the gift shop and restaurant), at Lodgepole Market, and at the Cedar Grove Market (summer only). Car Trouble Towing Services In Sequoia, call & 559 565-3301 from 7am to 7pm. After hours, call & 559 565-3341, then press 0. In King's Canyon, call & 559 335-2135. Climate See When to Go, in chapter 2. Emergencies Call & 911.
Facilities and amenities at each station differ but most include ATMs, currency exchange desks, shops, cafes, and pubs. Most stations have large information boards with arrival and departure information for all the destinations they service. Tickets can be purchased at each station (ticket desks and machines) or aboard the train.
ATMs The closest automated teller machine (ATM) to the park is at the Zion Canyon Theatre Complex (& 435 772-2400), just outside the south entrance, at 145 Zion Park Blvd. There is also an ATM at Zions Bank, 921 Zion Park Blvd. (& 435 772-3274). Car Trouble Towing Services Emergency 24-hour service is available from W. J. Bassett Repair (& 435 772-3328) in Springdale.
The Times Square Visitors Center, 1560 Broadway, between 46th and 47th streets (where Broadway meets Seventh Avenue), on the east side of the street ( 212-768-1560 www.timessquarebid. org), is the city's top info stop. This pleasant and attractive center features a helpful info desk offering loads of citywide information. There's also a tour desk selling tickets for Gray Line bus tours and Circle Line boat tours a Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) desk staffed to sell MetroCard fare cards, provide public transit maps, and answer all your questions about the transit system a Broadway Ticket Center providing show information and selling full-price show tickets ATMs and currency exchange machines and computer terminals with free Internet access courtesy of Yahoo . It's open daily from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
To drive the road in a rented 4WD, you will need written permission from your rental-car company. Carry cash (forget about ATMs out here, and traveler's checks are not always accepted), spare fuel, enough drinking water and food to last 3 or 4 days longer than you think you'll need, a tool kit, a tire puncture repair kit and a high lift jack, a spare tire, radiator hoses, a spare fan belt, and a first aid kit. Your rental-car company should provide all of this, except your supplies. If you want to stay in rooms rather than in the campground, book ahead. Even so, carry camping gear in case tire punctures, swollen creeks, or some other circumstance holds you up between homesteads. Some homesteads are private farms not open to the public, and their owners take a dim view of poorly prepared tourists begging them for water, fuel, or food. Swim only where the locals tell you, on account of crocodiles.
Calle Duarte, which roughly parallels the sea, is also the place to find shopping and tourist services such as bank ATMs, money changers, calling stations, Western Union, Internet caf s, markets, and medical facilities. There's a government tourist information office at the Plaza Boca Chica (s 809-523-5106) on the corner of Duarte and Caracole.
There are no telephones or ATMs in Todos Santos. Bring traveler's checks or cash. If you need to contact the outside world, there is a telegraph service in town at the Telegua office just off the central plaza. It gets extremely cold here and you will need sweaters and hats if you visit in January or February.
Visitors may be charged a tourist tax. Enforcement of a 5000Rp per person fee at a tollbooth on the outskirts of Amed is sporadic. Phone lines only extend as far as Lipah after that it's cell phones only. Internet service is limited to a couple of places between Amed and Lipah. There are no ATMs or banks.
You can get information at www.agia-galini .com. The bus station is at the top of the approach road. The post office is just past the bus stop. There are ATMs and travel agencies with currency exchange. Many caf s have internet access, including Hoi Polloi ( 28320 91102 perhr 4 S 9am-late), and there is a laundry (S 10am-2pm &5-9pm) in the street opposite the post office.
Credit cards are a safe way to carry money, they provide a convenient record of all your expenses, and they generally offer good exchange rates. You can also withdraw cash advances from your credit cards at banks or ATMs, provided you know your PIN. If you've forgotten yours, or didn't even know you had one, call the number on the back of your credit card and ask the bank to send it to you. It usually takes 5 to 7 business days, though some banks will provide the number over the phone if you tell them your mother's maiden name or some other personal information. Your credit card company will likely charge a commission (1 or 2 ) on every foreign purchase you make, but you may be getting a good deal with credit cards when you factor in things like ATM fees and higher traveler's check exchange rates.
Visa and MasterCard can be used for most top-end hotels, a few tour operators and the occasional midrange place, especially in major towns and especially in Kenya. However, like ATMs, they're best viewed as a stand-by unless you've confirmed things in advance with the establishment. In Rwanda and Burundi, they're not much help at all. Many places, notably in Tanzania, attach a commission - usually about 5 to 10 - to credit card payments. You can also use Visa or MasterCard for cash withdrawals at some banks, generally with a hefty commission.
The most commonly used credit cards - AMEX, Diners Club, Cirrus, EnRoute, Euro Mastercard, JCB, VISA - can be used to obtain cash from ATMs in banks and on the streets as well as to pay bills in hotels, restaurants and shops. Emblems on the door of the establishment detail which credit cards are accepted. Postal money services credit cards (VISA, VISA Electron, EuroCard Mastercard, Maestro) can be used to make cash withdrawals at all post offices in the capital. Post offices also exchange Eurocheques, American Express traveller's cheques and postal orders.
Cepted, it's often only with steep commissions, which means that you will need to rely here more heavily on cash, ATMs and (in major centres) travellers cheques. The best currency to bring is US dollars in a mixture of large and small denominations, plus some travellers cheques as an emergency standby and a Visa card for withdrawing money from ATMs. Euros are also easily changed. ATMs ATMs are widespread in major towns, although they are out of service with enough frequency that you should always have some sort of back-up funds. Standard Chartered (with branches in Dar es Salaam, Arusha, Moshi and Mwanza), Barclays (Dar es Salaam, Arusha and Zanzibar), National Bank of Commerce (NBC major towns countrywide), Stanbic (Dar es Salaam, Arusha, Mbeya, major towns) and TanPay SpeedCash (Dar es Salaam, Arusha, Zanzibar) all have ATMs that allow you to withdraw shillings with a Visa or MasterCard to a maximum of Tsh300,000 to Tsh400,000 per transaction. (Formerly the limit was per day, but...
An ATM machine is located in the Arrivals Hall. It accepts most debit ATM cards. Major credit cards, including American Express, Diners Club, Visa and MasterCard, are honored throughout Denmark at hotels, restaurants, stores, banks and in taxis, depending on card type they are also good for payment of air tickets and car rentals. Credit cards are not as universally recognized for ship and rail passage. The U.S. charge card CIRRUS can be used at all ATM machines 6am-2am all week. ATM machines are usually located in bank buildings.
Finally, in this plastic world, it pays to let your credit cards and banks know where to reach you. We've heard of the occasional credit card number stolen without the card being missing (it was either bought from a vendor who swiped it or from a fake reader placed in an ATM machine). Most cards have fraud protection, but if it happens to you, filing a police report can help prove you're in the Czech Republic, not in Bangladesh or wherever the money was charged.
Because ATM machines are prevalent in the tourist hubs and most major credit cards are widely accepted, it isn't necessary to carry large amounts of cash or even travelers checks into the country (assuming you have ATM or credit cards). Keep in mind that your bank may charge an out-of-network fee - as much as US 5 per transac
Many banks in the Old and New Towns exchange currency. Post offices run bureaux de change as does the Edinburgh Information Office ( 0131-473-3800). Major hotels also exchange currency but charge a premium for the service. ATM machines in the city center are linked to major banking systems such as Cirrus and Plus, so you'll almost definitely be able to draw money directly from your bank account at home.
It is at the same time a simple yet sophisticated scam, usually practiced on weekends, and it works like this. You insert your credit card into the cash machine outside a bank and press all the appropriate buttons. Nothing comes out. No cash and even worse, no card. However, there is a friendly stranger waiting behind you for his turn. He tells you that this often happens with these unreliable machines, and cards are always getting stuck. Try tapping in your personal identification number once again, he says. That usually works. This time, unfortunately, it doesn't, and as it is a Sunday, the bank is closed. All you can do, he tells you, is to come back on Monday, when someone at the bank will be able to extract your card.
Using ATMs and carrying cash The easiest and best way to get cash away from home is from an ATM (automated teller machine), sometimes referred to as a cash machine, or cashpoint. The Cirrus ( 800-424-7787 www.mastercard.com) and PLUS ( 800-843-7587 www.visa.com) networks span the globe look at the back of your bank card to see which network you're on, then call or check online for ATM locations at your destination. Be sure you know your personal identification number (PIN) before you leave home and be sure to find out your daily withdrawal limit before you depart. Also keep in mind that many banks impose a fee every time your card is used at a different bank's ATM, and that fee can be higher for international transactions (up to 5 or more) than for domestic ones (they're rarely more than 1.50). On top of this, the bank from which you withdraw cash may charge its own fee. To compare banks' ATM fees within the U.S., use www.bankrate.com. For international withdrawal fees, ask your bank....
The easiest, cheapest way to carry money is in the form of a debit card from your bank, which you can use to withdraw cash either from an ATM (bankomat) or over the counter in a bank. Using an ATM will result in your home bank charging a fee (usually 1.5 to 2.5 ), but you'll get a good exchange rate and provided you make withdrawals of at least a couple of thousand crowns at a time, you'll pay less than the assorted commissions on travellers cheques. Check with your bank about transaction fees and withdrawal limits.
Fishguard (Abergwaun, in Welsh) is larger and more interesting than Goodwick, with ATMs, shops and a wider choice of places to stay, eat and drink. The tourist office ( 01348-873484) is temporarily housed in the library (High St) but due to return to the town hall (Market Sq) in late 2007. There are two stone circles, but before you start preparing to dance skyclad, be aware that they were builtin 1936 and 1986 to coincide with the town's hosting of the Eisteddfod.
Travellers cheques aren't nearly as convenient as using ATMs. Most banks in Finland will exchange travellers cheques but charge commission fees of up to 7. Exchange offices, such as Forex in Helsinki, Turku, Tampere and other big cities, exchange cheques quickly at good rates for a flat 2 fee. There are no American Express offices that change travellers cheques in Finland. Thomas Cook, represented by Travelex, has offices in Helsinki and Turku.
There's a good network of hankomaty (ATMs). The main banks - Komercni banka, CSOB and Zivnostensk banka - are the best places to change cash and travellers cheques or get a cash advance on Visa or MasterCard. Amex and Thomas Cook Travelex offices change their own cheques without commission. Credit cards are widely accepted in petrol stations, midrange and top-end hotels, restaurants and shops.
Banks With some 40 banks now vying for trade, their ATMs are spread throughout the city center and you'll have no problem withdrawing money. Internet A number of places offer Internet services. Site (& 02 986-0896) is conveniently located on 45 Vitosha Blvd., or head for Internet Caf , Garibaldi on 6 Graf Ignatiev St. (next to KFC www.garibaldicafe.net). Medical IMC International Medical Centre has English-speaking doctors who will make house calls also Pediatricians and Gynecologists (28 Gogl St & 0944 9326, 0944 9317, or 0886 532 551). For dental help Dentail Center, VI 5 Ivan Vazov (& 02 987-8422) or Denta Plus, 41 Graf Ignatieff & 02 981-0366. Pharmacy For information on the closest pharmacy dial & 178. A good 24hour pharmacy is BD Pharmel-Em at 10 Yano Sakazov Blvd. (& 02 943-3972) alternatively, try Apteca at 160 G. Rakovski (& 02 986-7984). Restrooms Public restrooms are best avoided. See details in Restrooms in Fast Facts Bulgaria (p. 68).
There are banks all over the city centre, but none have international ATMs so travellers cheques are the best way to go. Internet access is available in the larger hotels and in several small offices around town. For medical emergencies, call 115. You'll need good French and or Arabic to get medical help here. Fire )14
Credit and debit cards can be used in a ban-comat (ATM) displaying the appropriate sign. Visa and MasterCard are among the most widely recognised, but others like Cirrus and Maestro are also well covered. Only some banks give cash advances over the counter, so you're better off using ATMs. Cards are also good for payment in most hotels, restaurants, shops, supermarkets and tollbooths. It is not uncommon for ATMs in Italy to reject foreign cards. Try a few more ATMs displaying your card's logo before assuming the problem lies with your card.
New Providence's main airport is Lynden Pindling International Airport (NAS 242-3777281 Nassau, New Providence), called the Nassau International Airport until 2008. This hub services international and domestic flights, with most interisland flights originating and returning here. New US and international terminals are due for completion in 2011. In the meantime, you'll find a couple of ATMs, a few caf s and a bunch of duty-free shops.
Barahona has a variety of services - ATMs, a long-distance calling center, and a pharmacy, all around the parque central - but such services are sorely lacking in many other locations. Except for the larger towns along Highway 2, well away from most attractions of interest to visitors, there are no banks and even fewer ATMs outside Barahona and Pedernales. And, except for roadside stands that sell fuel in plastic jugs or Presidente bottles, there is a sore lack of places selling gas outside of the main towns. Down the coast from Barahona en route to Pedernales, however, there are stations in the villages of Para so and Enriquillo.
They can also be used to get cash advances over the counter at banks and from many ATMs, depending on the card, though these transactions incur immediate interest. Charge cards such as Diners Club and American Express (Amex) are not as widely accepted. The obvious danger with credit cards is maxing out your limit and racking up a steaming pile of debt and interest charges. A safer option is a debit card from which you can draw money directly from your bank account using ATMs, banks or Eftpos devices. Any card connected to the international banking network (Cirrus, Maestro, Plus and Eurocard) should work, provided you know your PIN. The most flexible option is to carry both a credit and a debit card.
Figuring out how much money is enough Budgeting like a pro Where to splurge, where to save Locating ATMs Chicago has a way of eating up your money dinner at Harry Caray's (Chapter 10), cabs, admission fees, tips for the bellhop and housekeeping, the bottle of water at Navy Pier (Chapter 11), coffee at Corner Bakery (Chapter 13) and all that wonderful shopping. To make matters worse, there are ATMs on practically every corner. With cash and credit so accessible, spending can get out of hand fast.
Money or travelers checks can be exchanged at banks, private money exchange shops and major hotels. U.S. dollars are widely accepted by hotels, restaurants, taxis, etc. in Beirut. Major credit cards are accepted at most large establishments throughout the country. ATMs are also widely available in Beirut and larger cities.
These days, traveler's checks are less necessary because most cities have 24hour ATMs that allow you to withdraw small amounts of cash as needed. However, keep in mind that you will likely be charged an ATM withdrawal fee if the bank is not your own, so if you're withdrawing money every day, you might be better off with traveler's checks provided that you don't mind showing identification every time you want to cash one.
Most businesses are open from 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday, with some also open on Saturday. Banks are normally open Monday to Friday from 9am to noon, and between 2pm and 5pm (some ATMs, however, may be accessed 24 hours a day, seven days a week, but this can be rare). Shops and supermarkets are usually open from 10am to 8pm daily. Restaurants are generally open for lunch from 11.30am or noon to 2.30pm or 3pm and for dinner from 6pm or 6.30pm to 9pm or 10pm, with last orders taken about half an hour before closing. Variations on the above opening hours are listed in reviews.
In Nassau and Freeport Lucaya, banks are open from 9 30 am until 3 pm, Monday through Thursday, and from 9 30 am until 5 pm on Friday. If you rely on credit cards for your cash, there are international ATMs located at strategic spots on both of the major islands, including the casinos. As one might expect, banking hours vary in the Out Islands. In fact, banks on some islands open only on certain days of the week, and then only for a few hours.
Dublin's only airport (Map p213 DUB 814 1111 www.dublinairport.com) is 13km north of the city centre. Along with pubs, restaurants, shops, ATMs and car-hire desks, there are several airport facilities in the one passenger terminal Aer Rianta Information Desk (Irish Airport Authority S 24hr Jun-Sep, 6am-1am Oct-May)
Banks You'll find several banks and ATMS on M.I. Road. The Thomas Cook office for foreign exchange is at Jaipur Tower & 0141 236-0940 (Mon-Sat 9 30am-6pm). There's a Citibank ATM next to the General Post Office, HDFC Bank ATM on Ashok Marg, ICICI Bank ATM in Ganpati Plaza, and others within the Old City.
A trip to Mexico City need not require much planning. Hotel rooms in all price categories are in abundant supply, so accommodation availability is rarely an issue. Since Mexico City is not a standard holiday destination, direct flights to cities throughout the Americas and Europe aren't usually booked far in advance. ATMs on global networks are scattered around town, so you'll always have access to your funds. And there's rarely a slow period in this kaleidoscopic capital. Perhaps the best preparation you can do is to pick up a bit of Spanish before your departure every word you learn will help you to communicate with Chilangos.
Founded shortly after Horeke, Rawene was NZ's third European settlement. There is still a surprising number of historic buildings (including six churches) from a time when the harbour was considerably busier than it is now. There aren't any ATMs or banks, but you can get petrol here.
Arriving in Barahona, you'll find that most everything you need - bank ATMs, Verizon calling station, pharmacy - are located around the parque central near the Malec n. You can also find guaguas in this area to take you down the coast and over to Pedernales at the far end of the peninsula by the Haitian border, as well as to Lago
With a small but fine white-sand beach and cooling breezes, Tarrafal is a favourite getaway from Praia, some 70km to the southeast. The town itself has a pleasant, hi-biscus-lined main square, whose south side serves as an open market you'll also find ATMs and a few Internet cafes here. The beach is short but lovely, and a cliff-side trail to the north makes for a fine stroll. In town, packs of boys are likely to hit you up for a few escudos be ready with a litany of firm noes. For watersports, including boat and snorkel rental, head to the Italian-run Hotel Sol Marina ( ) 2-661219).
Banque du Caire and National Bank of Egypt have ATMs and you can change travellers cheques at Thomas Cook ((0 322 7559 S 8am-4.30pm), next to the petrol station. On Sharia Palestine you'll find Amex ( 9am-2pm & 6.30-8pm Sun-Thu), the main post office (S8.30am-2.30pm), telephone centrales ( 24hr) and a helpful tourist office ((D 3235289 S 9am-6pm Sat-Thu,9am-2pm Fri). Internet access is available from Compu.Net (per hr E 3 S 9am-midnight), opposite the main post office.
ATMS ATMs (24 hours) l works are plentifu accept Visa, Maste American Express Bank of Punjab (Map Rd, Paharganj) Citibank Basant Lok (Ma C-Block & K-Block (Map p Bldg (Map p100 3rd fl, C HDFC (Map p110 Main ICICI Connaught Pl (Map (Map p110 Rajguru Rd). UTI (Map p110 Rajguru
ATMs, accommodation and car-hire agencies, public-transport information desks, taxi services and 24-hour left-luggage counters (per piece per day 100Kc). The departure halls have restaurants and bars, information offices, airline offices, an exchange counter and travel agencies. Once you're through security, there are shops, restaurants, bars, internet access and wi-fi.
A cheaper - and often better - option is to buy a Polish prepaid SIM card. They sell for as little as 9zl and can be organised relatively quickly and painlessly at any provider shop (GSM, Orange etc). No ID is required, and top-ups can be bought at phone shops, newspaper kiosks and even some ATMs. Before purchasing a SIM card be sure your phone is unlocked (able to accept foreign SIM cards).
BY PLANE Sydney International Airport is 8km (5 miles) from the city center. The international and domestic terminals are separate but linked by free shuttle buses. In both terminals, you'll find luggage carts, wheelchairs, a post office (open Mon-Fri 9am-5pm), mailboxes, currency exchange, duty-free shops (including one before you go through Customs on arrival, selling alcohol and perfumes), restaurants, bars, stores, showers, luggage lockers and a Baggage Held Service for larger items, ATMs, and tourist information desks. You can hire mobile phones from the international terminal. There is also a Sydney Visitors Centre Bookings desk (& 02 9667 6050) offering cheap deals on hotels (see Deciding Where to Stay later in this chapter), as well as offering car rental, phone cards, and maps and brochures. You can also buy the SydneyPass (see section 2 Getting Around ) and Airport Express tickets here (see below). The airport is efficient, has extremely strict quarantine procedures you must...
It's a good idea to carry cash on the island (but watch out for petty thieves) as the ATMs have been known to run dry. Banco Popular ( 741-2071 Mu oz Rivera S 8am-3pm Mon-Fri) Has one of two ATMs in Isabella Segunda. Post office ( 741-3891 Mu oz Rivera 97 S 8 30am-4 30pm Mon-Fri, 8am-noon Sat) Across from the Banco Popular, this is the island's only post office. It will take general-delivery letters. Puerto Rico Tourism Company (PRTC 741-0800 www.gotopuertorico.com Carlos LeBrun 449 S 8am-5pm)
Banks listed here change cash and travellers cheques and issue cash advances against Visa and MasterCard. A couple also have ATMs that work with foreign cards, but it's often cheaper to get a cash advance manually see p309 for the low-down. All are open 8.30am to 3.30pm Monday to Friday unless otherwise stated.